India gears up to celebrate its 69th Republic Day. The day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
However not many people aware about the significance of this day, it is just not one day holiday, there is lot of significance behind this day of celebration.
Here are some of the less unknown facts about India’s Republic Day.
- Republic Day celebration actually lasts for three days. The ‘Beating Retreat’ is held at the end of the third day (on 29th January) marking the end of Republic Day celebration.
- During The Beating Retreat, ‘Abide by Me’ is the song that is played to mark the end of the ceremony. Which was said to be Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite.
- The ceremonial performance of bands of the defence forces was started in the early 1950s by a certain Major Roberts of the Indian Army.
- There are just two original copies of the Constitution in the country written in Hindi and English. They have been preserved in helium-filled cases in the Parliament of India. This constitution has been calligraphed (hand-written) and not printed.
- The Constitution came into a legal circulation at 10:18 AM on the 26th of January, 1950.
- Writing the constitution was not simple task. The Assembly gathered for 166 days that was spread over 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before the final version was formed.
- Dr Rajendra Prasad took oath in the Durbar Hall of the government house as India’s first president. Flag was hoisted in the Irwin Stadium on 26 Jan 1950. This was the first Republic Day Celebration and President Sukarno of Indonesia was the chief guest.
- The serial of celebrating the Republic Day of India on the Rajpath began in 1955. The first chief guest of the Rajpath parade was Malik Gulam Mohammed, the first governor general of Pakistan. The republic day celebrations were organised until 1954 on Kingsway, Lal Kila, and Ramlila Ground.
- The President addresses the Republic Day whereas; the Prime Minister addresses the Independence Day. The events are started by the Prime Minister with a short dedication at the military memory (Amar Jawan Jothi) at the India gate. This is the only role PM have on this day.
- Republic day of India is chosen as the day to give away bravery awards to deserving candidates. The awards that are given away are Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Ashoka Chakra.
- Indian constitution is the longest in the world.